Production In The Time Of Covid-19
I don't know what day I first heard about Zoom calls but they are essential to the way productions are able to move forward in our post Covid-19 world. I can't tell you how amazing it is to be able to do what we love! A successful video or still production is a little like a miracle. There are months of work on the front end planning, writing, casting, creating storyboards, meetings to confirm art direction and logistics. Then, shopping, building, painting, photographing wardrobe, props, & sets to make sure they bring the vision to life.
Covid-19 has thrown us for a loop to say the least. I personally, did not work from early February to June. Real talk...it was not pretty for me personally.
I won't get into the ugly details but I will say it was like a breath of fresh air to be back on set again.
That said it is also stressful. Many of us especially the hair and make up artist are in the unmasked faces of the talent...there is no way around it. Many of them are afraid, like all of us, to come in contact with the virus and unknowingly bring it home to young babies, children, partners and older parents. It's the issue all of us are facing both nationally and internationally.
It is a hard thing to wrap our minds around. We move through our production days doing our jobs semi-normally, but with a new level of stress.
Post Covid production is much more considered and our moves on set are calculated in a way they never were before. Soap, wipes, running water, and hand sanitizer have moved up the production food chain in a very real way.
As I look around on set, seeing all my co-workers in masks it hits me that this nightmare is real.
Getting our temperatures taken each morning and signing in on a sheet of paper. "Name", "Temperature", "Date". It's surreal and also becoming a normal part of my morning.
There are more "eyes" and "ears" on us. Part of post Covid production consists of a web of monitors linked together.
The monitors are strategically placed all over the location, insuring the remote clients are able to view the production in totality. We often stop to gaze into the monitor, doing our job with a critical eye focused on the piece of the production puzzle that's our responsibility. Now, staring back at us are postage stamp sized human heads, blinking and shifting in their seats. These clients are in their homes, in New York, St. Louis, Chicago, Cleveland, wherever, giving directives via the Zoom.
Stylists work in garages, conference rooms, cafeterias, anywhere we can social distance in and around truck loads of wardrobe racks and bakers racks filled with props. Post Covd-19 process dictates we unmute the monitor nearest us and hold up suggested wardrobe or props to gain approval from one of postage stamp sized people peering back at us.
It's strange. It's different. It takes more thought and consideration. Our producers have spent many hours creating production protocols to keep us as safe as possible. I get it.
Those of us on set try our best to stand 6 feet away. This is fine in practice. The down side is that we really like each other! We miss each other like crazy. We are each other's co-workers in the strange and curious world of film production we are each other's PEOPLE.
Who knows where this virus will take us. There is obviously no crystal ball. I have become 100% more grateful for the business I have built, the people I work with and my family. I pray that we all stay healthy. Like it or not this is the new normal.